Yankees: Does CC Sabathia stick around for 300 wins?
Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is a Hall of Fame player. He has an outside shot to reach 3,000 career strikeouts this year but will he keep playing to reach 300 wins?
Throughout his career, Yankees lefty, CC Sabathia, has been an incredibly durable player. In an era where pitchers continuously blow out their arms and lose precious years during their prime to Tommy John surgery, Sabathia has avoided ligament damage to muster 17 years in the league.
Having completed his original 7-year, $161 million contract, Sabathia re-signed with the Bombers claiming the addition of reigning MVP Giancarlo Stanton left the team with “unfinished business.”
Currently, Sabathia sits on 237 career wins, but does he stick around to get to the exclusive No. 300?
From 2001 to 2013, Sabathia won 11 or more games each season and averaged 200+ innings. Sabathia looked all but finished in 2014, after suffering knee inflammation.
He only made eight starts and posted a 5.28 ERA. Traditionally, power pitchers flame out during the latter half of their careers, but Sabathia has reinvented himself over these past four seasons.
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CC’s become more of a finesse pitcher, painting corners with 86-88 mph fastballs. Last season, at 37, he reached 14 wins with a 2.8 WAR and a very respectable 3.69 ERA. He was especially tricky when getting ahead of hitters.
After counts 0-1 and 0-2, Sabathia held hitters to .230 and .139 averages, respectively. The burly lefty was even better in the playoffs, averaging a strikeout per inning with a 2.37 ERA over four starts.
While Sabathia can no longer overpower hitters, he doesn’t have to. Of the 386 at-bats where Sabathia was ahead on the count, 136 ended in strikeouts. As Sabathia’s game shifts, getting ahead of batters will be the key to his success and longevity.
He has an outside chance at reaching 3,000 total career strikeouts this season, which would cement his position in the Hall of Fame. He’s already won a World Series, and the Yankees are poised to make another deep playoff run.
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To win 300 games, Sabathia would need to play six more seasons, and average at least 10+ wins a year. He’ll likely have to take team-friendly discounts as Brian Cashman and company look to stay under the luxury tax threshold. It’s anybody’s guess if Sabathia hangs around long enough for 300.